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What is a Bachelor of Laws?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2018
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A bachelor of laws, which may be abbreviated as LL.B, is a type of legal degree that is typically granted in common law countries. Usually, this type of law degree can be completed after about three years of study and is used as part of the preparation for becoming an attorney, solicitor, or barrister. An individual may pursue this law degree in such countries as the United Kingdom and Australia. In the United States, on the other hand, those planning to become lawyers usually earn Juris Doctor degrees instead.

In countries that offer the bachelor of laws degree, an individual often begins to work toward this degree after completion of secondary school. This differs from the route law students usually take in places like the United States. In such places, a person typically completes secondary school and then goes on to earn an undergraduate degree before entering a law school program. Some law schools in the United Kingdom do offer degree programs for individuals who decide to earn undergraduate degrees before entering law school, however. These programs may allow students with non-law degrees to complete their legal studies in less time than is normally required.

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The requirements for becoming a lawyer vary from place to place. As such, an individual interested in the legal field may do well to check his jurisdiction’s requirements before he begins a bachelor of laws program. In some jurisdictions, a person who graduates with a bachelor of laws degree is prepared to become a member of his jurisdiction’s legal society or bar. He may, however, have to take and pass a legal exam or series of legal exams before he will be permitted to practice law. In some cases, an individual may have to meet other requirements, such as completing his jurisdiction’s legal practice course and seeking training from a legal employer.

In some places, a person may begin a legal career without earning a bachelor of laws degree. For example, there are some countries that allow aspiring legal professionals to spend about three years studying for a non-law degree and then earn a graduate diploma in law. This program is often completed in about a year’s time. An individual who pursues this route may then need to complete a one-year legal practice or bar professional traning course. Finally, he would usually have to secure training from a legal employer or law firm.

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Monika
Post 3

@SZapper - I really disagree. Every country has a different legal system, so I suppose in some countries a bachelors degree would prepare a person to work in the legal field.

However, I think in the US a graduate degree is really a necessity. A friend of mine is in law school in the US right now, and the amount of information she needs to learn is just staggering. I can't imagine cramming it all into an undergraduate degree.

SZapper
Post 2

I know Australia is one country where you can practice law with a Bachelor of Laws. One of my friends actually lives there and she is pursuing her Bachelor of Laws right now.

I was really surprised when she told me this. I suppose I thought in every country you had to pursue a graduate level education to be a lawyer. I actually think allowing people to practice law with just a bachelors makes sense though.

I know law is a specialized field, but so is, say, biology. But you can work as a biologist with just a bachelors. True, it does help to get a masters degree, but you can get an entry level job with just a bachelors. I think the same should be true of law.

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